Mc dojo's and how to identify them. need help

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Hello I was wondering if someone could aid me to identify a mcdojo, as im 16 and none of my family tree has experience with martial arts and don't want to waste all my mustered up will and time on a scam, I'm in a very populated area so majority of gyms are in buildings-malls(just like mine is in a mall), the time of training is one hour(about an hour sometimes it extends to 30-40min after the hour) 3 times a week, and as a two week white belt, im kinda lost when it comes to what is a good gym or bad gym or the topic about mcdojos and would greatly appreciate any kind of help
 

pdg

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You need to identify what you want to achieve, and what you want to avoid.

One person's mcdojo could be another person's ideal...

If the higher belt holders look to be good (not flailing about and generally pathetic) then that's a good start.

If the instructors are pushing for belt gradings and/or selling 'fast track black belt club' or that sort of thing - that's not good.

The amount and duration of classes isn't necessarily any sort of indicator - some fantastic places only run a couple of classes a week, while some terrible places are open all hours...
 
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Also another thing I forgot to ask is...

Is a gym without sparring sessions necessarily a bad one?

Also as a side note, thanks for the help.
 

dvcochran

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Hello I was wondering if someone could aid me to identify a mcdojo, as im 16 and none of my family tree has experience with martial arts and don't want to waste all my mustered up will and time on a scam, I'm in a very populated area so majority of gyms are in buildings-malls(just like mine is in a mall), the time of training is one hour(about an hour sometimes it extends to 30-40min after the hour) 3 times a week, and as a two week white belt, im kinda lost when it comes to what is a good gym or bad gym or the topic about mcdojos and would greatly appreciate any kind of help
It sounds like this is your first experience in MA. If you have the option, do trial classes at multiple schools and find what feel best for you. Make sure you understand going in what you are obligating yourself to. I am weary of long contracts.
Are you going to be working out with a room full of kids or limited in how many classes/week you can attend? Find out the history of the school(s) you trial. If you have not other choice of schools to try, then much of it is what you make it. Keep an open mind and let you common sense guide you. If it looks, smells, and feels bad, it probably is. A big flag for me is the "Black Belt Program". Everyone learns at a difference pace therefore there is nothing wrong with advancing at a different pace. You may not be ready for black belt in XXX months/years. That is OK.
 

pdg

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Is a gym without sparring sessions necessarily a bad one?

Maybe, maybe not - again it depends what you want.

A boxercise class won't spar, so you won't learn "fighting" - but they're sold as exercise and are good for that...

If the school is selling TKD they really should spar. Lacking dedicated and scheduled sparring sessions isn't necessarily bad, if they (say) randomly announce that "tonight is sparring" in normal classes.

My school has scheduled sparring, but it's the accepted thing that sparring gear goes to every class because it'll just get announced randomly too.
 
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Thanks a lot for the help, this is indeed my first experience with any sort of MA, I'm just looking for a fun and challenging discipline and it seems like I found it...

I just needed some help clarifying the mcdojo issue, thanks for the help once again.
 

pdg

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If it's fun and challenging (without bleeding you dry financially) then honestly I wouldn't worry about the mcdojo label.

If you can walk away at any point (i.e. not in contracts etc.) then you can always change if stops feeling right for you.
 

JR 137

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Hello I was wondering if someone could aid me to identify a mcdojo, as im 16 and none of my family tree has experience with martial arts and don't want to waste all my mustered up will and time on a scam, I'm in a very populated area so majority of gyms are in buildings-malls(just like mine is in a mall), the time of training is one hour(about an hour sometimes it extends to 30-40min after the hour) 3 times a week, and as a two week white belt, im kinda lost when it comes to what is a good gym or bad gym or the topic about mcdojos and would greatly appreciate any kind of help
Do you think it could be a McDojo? If so, why?

What are you trying to get out of your training?

If your needs are being met through training there, what difference does it make what we or anyone else consider it to be? Its your time and money, not ours. Youre the one whos got to be happy with it, not us.
 
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Well the reason why my suspicions started is because of a red-black belt student walking up to me and saying that I could get a black belt in 2 years.


And at that time I did not know what a mcdojo was until now, and as I was watching a YouTube video about mcdojos I remembered what that student said.
 
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Do you think it could be a McDojo? If so, why?

What are you trying to get out of your training?

If your needs are being met through training there, what difference does it make what we or anyone else consider it to be? Its your time and money, not ours. Youre the one whos got to be happy with it, not us.


I'm just kinda afraid of being fooled into a scam and learn something that would be easy mode, if that sounds logical, but you guys are right its up to me ,I was kinda lost but now I know what to do...


As for what I'm trying to get out of my training, I'm here to have some fun while overcoming an actual challenge.
 

Andrew Green

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Well the reason why my suspicions started is because of a red-black belt student walking up to me and saying that I could get a black belt in 2 years.


And at that time I did not know what a mcdojo was until now, and as I was watching a YouTube video about mcdojos I remembered what that student said.


You are worrying about things that don't need to be worried about. If things start smelling like BS then leave, if the business practices seem unethical leave. If you are having fun and learning something stay.

This whole McDojo witch hunt idea has done more to hurt the martial arts as a whole then anything.

So much of it is like saying baseball is a McSport because it has no contact.

Do what you like and have fun. Jut keep a critical mind and ask questions, if they start spouting BS go somewhere else.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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My one question for you is: are you in a contract? Thats not necessarily bad, but negates a lot of the "if it starts being fishy leave" advice
 
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You are worrying about things that don't need to be worried about. If things start smelling like BS then leave, if the business practices seem unethical leave. If you are having fun and learning something stay.

This whole McDojo witch hunt idea has done more to hurt the martial arts as a whole then anything.

So much of it is like saying baseball is a McSport because it has no contact.

Do what you like and have fun. Jut keep a critical mind and ask questions, if they start spouting BS go somewhere else.





I agree, paranoia overtook me there for a minute.
 

pdg

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Well the reason why my suspicions started is because of a red-black belt student walking up to me and saying that I could get a black belt in 2 years.

For some places 2 years really isn't 'fast'.

Maybe he didn't know what he was talking about - maybe he did and recognised a natural aptitude.

A red/black (I assume first kup, one away from black?) isn't really qualified to judge BB potential though, so saying anything about is wasn't their place...

Consider that a 1at dan black belt is officially termed 'novice' - it's far from the end of the journey.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Thank god I'm not, and if it was I would not even join.
Like i said, a contract isn't always a bad thing- i signed a 2 year contract and paid it all up front... but that was after training for 17(?) years and at that particular place for like 13 years when i was a kid...so i knew that i could commit to both the style and the school.
It also doesnt necessarily mean that youre stuck...when we were youngery nrother quit and he had something like 6 months left in his contract, that he had already paid for. The dojo owner wasnt going to refund it, but did give us 3 options:he could bank that in case he wants to come back, we could extend my time for the 6 months, or one of my parents could try out the fitness kickboxing for 6 months. My dad did the kickboxing option.

Basically, contract doesnt automatically mean mcdojo or evil, as some would lead you to believe.
 

veritasAequitas

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Be aware of flashy marketing, anything that has a gimmick, secret techniques and always always read your contract.
 

JowGaWolf

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You need to identify what you want to achieve, and what you want to avoid.
I'm with you on this one. If the OP is looking for a school with a bunch of staff twirling then the practical martial arts school isn't the right school to be in. In a way the practical school becomes the "McDojo" if they advertise that they to extreme martial arts when they actually don't.

It's just better to identify what you want and then find a place that gives it. If this "As for what I'm trying to get out of my training, I'm here to have some fun while overcoming an actual challenge." all that a student wants then any school will do. Fun and overcoming an actual challenge is not exclusive to Martial Arts. There are tons of things that would fit this. In terms of Martial Arts, I think all schools do this, including the Mcdojos.
 
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marques

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Is the skill of the advanced students what you are looking for yourself? Usually we can answer it even not having a trained eye.

Are they talking about belts and gradings (and fees) every day? (Yes is a bad sign for me.)

Sparring is often a signal of honest training. But sometimes synonymous of dangerous training as well. In many styles you may not be allowed to spar at the beginning, but usually there a moment, and strict rules, for that at some point.
 
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Is the skill of the advanced students what you are looking for yourself? Usually we can answer it even not having a trained eye.

Are they talking about belts and gradings (and fees) every day? (Yes is a bad sign for me.)

Sparring is often a signal of honest training. But sometimes synonymous of dangerous training as well. In many styles you may not be allowed to spar at the beginning, but usually there a moment, and strict rules, for that at some point.



Yeah they do push for belt and gradings.

But the other student told me that he has been doing taekwondo since he was 14 and he is still a red belt, and the only black belts are on their 20's....

Majority of the the younger people under the age of 20 are red-black, I don't know if this is useful info.
 
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